Washington (CNN)An emotional Vice President Joe Biden accused the Republican presidential candidates of "beating" Hispanics with their rhetoric on immigration during a surprise appearance at a fundraiser hosted by the Latino Victory Project political action committee Tuesday night.
First on CNN: Passionate Vice President Joe Biden slams GOP 2016ers at Latino voting event
Biden, who is closing in on a decision on whether he should run for president, recalled a recent event he held at the vice president's mansion in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. The vice president said Latino attendees at the function were hanging their heads as a result of comments made by GOP front-runner Donald Trump and other top Republican candidates.
"People walked in like literally down because of the beating, the beating Hispanics are taking at the hands of the Republican caucus ... I mean the Republican presidential race," Biden said in the video which was obtained by CNN.
"People are depressed. And the message I have for you guys is these guys don't remotely speak for America," the vice president continued, waving his arms in front of the crowd at the Latino Victory Project fundraiser. "The American people are so much better. They are so far beyond. They are so, so, so much different than these guys who are appealing to everything from homophobia to this notion of the like know nothing party of the late 1800s."
Sounding very much like a presidential candidate, Biden touted his past support in Congress for voter registration legislation aimed at getting minorities to the polls.
"Matter of fact I co-sponsored the first motor voter registration bill that passed," Biden said. The Tuesday night fundraiser was held in support of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat.
Latino Victory Project executive director Cristobal Alex described Biden's appearance at the event as something of a last-minute surprise, but a welcome one.
"(BIden) did very strongly condemn what the Republicans are doing," Alex said.
Alex pointed to Trump's remarks earlier this year labeling Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and criminals as a turning point for the Latino community.
"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people," Trump said during his campaign launch.
"We thought the Republicans would take their 2012 autopsies more seriously," Alex said, a reference to an internal report GOP officials did analyzing the losses of the last presidential election cycle.
The Latino Victory Project PAC has spent money on behalf of both Democratic and Republican candidates according to public records.